By Chuck Reherman
MUSTANG – For only the second time since its inception, the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference Tournament crowned a champion.
And it wasn’t Yukon or the finish the Millerettes wanted.
The Millerettes finished the tournament with a 6-4 win over Norman in the seventh place game on Saturday afternoon. Mustang beat Moore for the title, 10-8.
Yukon went 2-2 in the tournament. YHS had lost their opening game to Mustang 3-2, beat Santa Fe 3-2, then lost 9-3 to Southmoore to drop to the seventh place game. The Millerettes beat Norman 6-4.
“We did end the tournament with a win, but I wanted to beat someone that were not expecting us to win,” Hoke said. “We had better outings offensively in the tournament, but defensively, the basic fundamentals came back to hurt us once again. You have to be able to field a basic ground ball and throw it to first base.
“If we do that, catch a ball, we have a better finish,” she said. “Two routine plays in the Mustang game and even in the Southmoore game cost us the majority of those runs. It cleared the bases.
“We have to be able to have some confidence to come out and play against these teams that are tough. They are not better, they are tough. You come and compete in those ball games and right now, we are competing for part and not all of the game. That is where we have to change, we have to compete from first pitch to last.”
In the seventh-place game, YHS broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the fourth inning and held on to beat the Lady Tigers 6-4.
Norman had rallied to tie the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. McKenna Johnson gave the lead back to the Millerettes on an RBI double to left field. She drove in Taryn Blazevich, who had singled. Gigi Vandelune’s sacrifice fly to centerfield drove in the second run of the inning.
Yukon used a two-run home run from AJ Rayburn in the first inning to take the initial lead. Blazevich had singled to lead off the inning and Rayburn’s home run came on a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall just out of the reach of the left fielder’s glove.
Norman did cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning, but Rayburn doubled home a run in the second to push the lead back to two-runs. Krisyana Pellett had singled to start the inning and Rayburn’s hit came with two outs. Kaylee Witte’s sac fly in the third inning extended the lead to 4-1.
Against Southmoore, the Lady Sabercats scored four runs in the first and used a three-run fourth to take a 9-3 win.
Rayburn homered in the first and an RBI single from Witte made it 4-2, but SMHS scored two in the fourth and three in the fifth to open a 9-2 lead.
The Millerettes tried to put a rally together in the bottom of the fourth inning, loading the bases on singles from Pellett, Taylor McMahon and Blazevich with no one out. Rayburn hit into a fielder’s choice that drove in the run but forced the runner at second base. Southmoore pulled off a doubleplay on the next hitting to end the game.
In the opening game against Mustang, the Millerettes broke a 1-1 tie, but saw the Lady Broncos rally with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, then turned away a YHS rally to pull off a 3-2 win.
Rayburn’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Millerettes a 2-1 lead. But, Mustang answered in the top of the seventh, turning three Yukon errors into two runs and a 3-2 lead. The Millerettes got the winning run on base with two outs, but were turned away by MHS on a ground out.
Mustang had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double. The Millerettes tied the game in the third when Kaylee Witte raced home on a throwing error by the MHS catcher.